A prominent Presbyterian congregation in Texas, which traces its roots to the 19th century, was forced to cancel in-person worship due to threats against the church.
First Presbyterian Church of Dallas announced Saturday that it was closing down that weekend because an unnamed person had “sent threatening messages to the Church indicating the potential for future harm.”
Pastor Amos Disasa, who wrote the announcement, explained that last week, a person who had worshipped at FPC Dallas had “sent a message via email that we perceived to threaten the safety of our community.”
In response to the message, according to Disasa, the church contacted the Dallas Police Department, who reached out to the person about their threatening messages.
“Upon review, their recommendation was to take immediate action to cancel weekend, in-person programming, including worship, which would allow DPD additional time to locate the person and assess the threat,” said Disasa.
Disasa said that he was “relieved to report that this isolated event has been addressed” and that the person in question would not be permitted access to the church in the future.
“Going forward, the person will be restricted from accessing our campus at any time by our security team. For the immediate future, and in addition to our private security staff, a DPD officer will be present during operating hours,” he continued.
The pastor denied earlier local media reports that a bomb threat was made against the church and said it would operate under a regular schedule on Monday.
FPC Dallas still held a livestream service, which featured music from their Music Director Zach Light-Wells, plus a sermon by Disasa, who also explained the situation to those watching.
“I am happy to report that God did not forget about us,” said Disasa during the service. “We are here in body, in spirit, prepared to receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship God.”
FPC Dallas traces its origins to eleven people who first met in 1856, shortly after Dallas was incorporated into a city. The church got its first building in 1873 and its current building in 1913.